It’s been called a game changer, and it’s been hailed for its “brilliance and weirdness.” And while it sounds like something from a futuristic sci-fi series, it’s reality: there are new advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), which are impacting many spheres of life.
That includes the way the world creates and engages with content, thanks to new tools which are enhancing the use of AI in SEO.
There are now AI tools which generate realistic-as-heck images and art from natural language descriptions, and AI video generators, which are impressively realistic. But of course, some of the most notable tools to make waves in the AI world have been AI chatbots, which interact with people in a conversational way. These tools include ChatGPT (and the newly-launched GPT-4), Microsoft’s Bing chatbot, and Google’s Bard chatbot.
While these tools are transforming many industries (like identity verification for example), they’re making a particularly volatile impact in certain ones, including the world of marketing, because of the applications of AI in SEO.
These AI models have become notable for many reasons, and are even causing alarm in many cases.
First, a few of the notable pros.
- These bots answer complex prompts, synthesizing answers that sound incredibly human-like.
- They can compose poems and songs, solve complex equations, pass the Bar exam, and help you learn spanish.
- According to OpenAI, the company behind GPT-4 and ChatGPT, its newest model “exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks.”
- And as we’ll dive into in a little bit, there are many ways to use AI in SEO.
But there are some notable weaknesses to these bots.
- Maybe most critically, these chatbots often produce information that is false, but that sounds confidently correct.
- Called “hallucinating,” experts say this is a leading problem with all current AI chatbots, and it happens because “the systems do not have an understanding of what is true and what is not.”
- The OpenAI team says that “great care should be taken when using language model outputs, particularly in high-stakes contexts.”
There are a few other known limitations of these models. They tend to lack more recent knowledge (after September 2021), and they can “make simple reasoning errors,” though you can extend this functionality with plugins and this is most likely changing with the newest iteration of GPT 4.
In short: these new AI tools are incredibly powerful, and there are many applications for them. That includes in the world of marketing.
Can AI Work for SEO?
These new AI chat tools have been met with mixed reviews: some people are excited, some are nervous, and some are worried that these tools will take their jobs.
While there are a lot of opinions on the matter, and endless different applications for these tools, one thing is for sure: AI can be a powerful tool when used for SEO marketing.
Here are a few specific ways marketers can use AI in SEO:
1. Keyword Research and Clustering
AI has already proven to be a powerful tool for SEO strategy in many ways. One of those ways is by leveraging AI chatbots to assist with keyword research and clustering (grouping keywords with similar intent).
With AI in SEO, these two tasks can be done faster and more efficiently. You can simply prompt these chatbots to supply you with keywords for certain topics, adding in specific instructions, such as “for a blog post.”
2. Blog Ideas
Being in SEO marketing means you have to come up with creative blog ideas, month after month. Now, thanks to these new AI chatbots, you don’t have to spend time ruminating on subjects, or feeling stumped for new ideas.
By promoting these bots for blog ideas, you can have a list of keyword rich, ready-to-write titles in seconds.
3. Creating Outlines
Here’s where we can really see the power of AI in SEO. Yes, AI chatbots can write entire blog outlines.
By using certain prompts, you can get keyword-rich outlines, complete with topics, points to include, and subheadlines. You can then give these outlines directly to writers, who can expand upon them.
4. Content Creation
Yes, AI chatbots can write full-length pieces of content, when prompted correctly. Generating sections of content, or even full-length blog posts, can take some finessing.
For example, you’ll likely need to input several rounds of prompts, and will need to specify things such as the type of content, the target keyword, how many subheadings you want, and what you want the tone to be like. You’ll also likely have to edit the content, for things such as factual accuracy, and the tone of the piece (to ensure it’s on par with the tone of the client).
5. Competitive Research
Never wonder what your competitors are up to again. With AI chatbots, you can analyze and find gaps in competitor content, in order to see where they stand, and what you can do to surpass them.
6. SEO Workflows
Use AI chatbot tools to iron out your SEO workflows and processes. You can find ways to optimize workflows, reduce workloads, and improve the way your team actually functions.
7. Revamp Headlines and Meta Descriptions
Certain parts of your content are crucial for catching the attention of your audience, such as your headlines and meta descriptions. If you’re stuck fiddling around with words and word counts, don’t fret: your AI chatbot has you covered.
You can generate creative, engaging, and SEO-rich headlines and meta descriptions with ease.
The Truth: Will Tools Like ChatGPT Replace Humans?
One of the biggest concerns for marketers when it comes to AI tools such as ChatGPT is if these tools will eventually replace humans.
The argument behind this concern is that because AI in SEO can create functional content, it might eventually replace the need for humans altogether.
While it’s hard to say what the future will hold, it’s clear that at this time that AI chatbots still need heavy input from humans, and cannot function without human involvement.
While well-trained AI chat models can deliver content that is well-done and might read as if a human wrote it, it’s still not fully polished, not typically in the tone of the client, and might be missing crucial elements, such as fact attribution.
Plus, as we discussed, there are many known limitations to AI chat models, which can cause concern when it comes to AI in SEO.
A Big Critique of AI Limitations
The limitations of AI at this time are not to be ignored. While these chatbot tools are impressive, there are significant limitations that all SEO marketers should be aware of when using these tools.
Of course, one of the biggest limitations is the proliferation of factual inaccuracies. This can be a dangerous game.
If SEO marketers or writers are relying on chat AI models to write content, and these chat models are producing content with factual inaccuracies, that means that incorrect work could be published by clients.
And simply fact-checking entire blog pieces might be easier said than done: every single claim made by a chat model needs to be verified by a real human, before it’s considered accurate, not just statistics, but entire statements and concepts.
These chat AI models can also produce content that is plagiarized. Because of this, marketers need to run all AI-generated content through a plagiarism checker.
At this time, these models are not effective at writing articles that a human would find engaging or accurate on their own.
This means that if marketing teams are using AI in SEO, there needs to be a heavy hand from humans, which act as directors or project managers, to continuously prompt these AI models until the desired output is reached.
AI Has Been Used for Years
If you’re a marketer, there might be alarm bells going off in your head. Are AI chatbots going to take your job, send your marketing agency down the drain, or drastically transform the way you work?
Let’s keep in mind: AI has actually been in use for years, and this is just another iteration of it. In 2020, more than half of respondents from one McKinsey survey said that they had adopted AI in at least one function. At the time, marketing and sales respondents used AI mostly for customer service analytics, and customer segmentation.
Our Stance on AI in SEO
Here at RevenueZen, we believe that companies which don’t take advantage of AI-based tools will not be able to keep up with the speed of content production, or the kind of advanced strategic insights that these tools generate.
We also believe that the best way marketing teams and agencies can take advantage of AI in SEO is to use these tools to scale their operations, by reducing the amount of time people spend on low-level or repetitive tasks.
We also don’t believe that at this time, these technologies are capable of replacing human efforts in the field of search. However, they certainly can improve workloads, optimize the ways SEO teams work, and free up SEO experts to spend time on more strategic or important work, and brainstorm more effectively.
AI In SEO Is Here To Stay, But Exactly How Is Still In Development
The writing is on the wall: AI in SEO is here to stay, that’s for sure. But what exact role AI will play in the future isn’t as clear as it might seem.
What is certain is that AI in SEO can improve the way marketing teams work, improve the quality of content, and ultimately help achieve the best goals for clients.
At RevenueZen, we’re embracing these new AI technologies, and closely watching out for new trends in AI in SEO. Our mission is to produce the best possible content for our clients which helps them achieve their business goals, using whatever tools are available to us. That’s how we’re able to help B2B brands break records of organic-sourced revenue growth.
Interested in partnering with us to accelerate your organic growth with our marketing services? Contact us today.